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Oh, still that fiery spit of hope? You have the spirit of a true Jedi! And because of that... you must die.
~ Snoke orders Rey's death.
You think you can turn him? Pathetic child... I cannot be betrayed... I cannot be beaten. I see his mind... I see his every intent. Yes... I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true! And now... foolish child... he ignites it... and KILLS HIS TRUE ENEMY!!
~ Snoke's last words seconds before being killed by Kylo Ren.

Supreme Leader Snoke is a major antagonist in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, appearing as the overarching antagonist of The Force Awakens, as the secondary antagonist of The Last Jedi, and as a posthumous antagonist in The Rise of Skywalker. He was also the unseen overarching antagonist of Season 1 of the animated television series Star Wars Resistance as well as a background, later posthumous antagonist in Season 2. He is a powerful genetic strandcast experienced in the dark side of the Force and the founder and first Supreme Leader of the First Order.

In The Force Awakens, he appears via hologram, commanding orders to high-ranking First Order military official Armitage Hux, and his apprentice, Kylo Ren. In The Last Jedi, Snoke has a more pivotal role, commanding his flagship, the Supremacy in an attack against the remnants of the Resistance. It is revealed that he had seduced Ben Solo to the dark side while he was under Luke Skywalker's training. After capturing Rey and commanding Kylo to kill her as to prove himself worthy to him, Kylo betrayed and murdered Snoke, using the lightsaber on his throne to cut him in half. Kylo later usurped his position and became the new Supreme Leader. However, it turns out in The Rise of Skywalker that Snoke was Emperor Palpatine's creation and puppet as he was made to lead the First Order and to corrupt the young Ben Solo.

He was both portrayed and voiced through motion capture by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, the Witch-King of Angmar in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mr. Grin in Stormbreaker, Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Capricorn in Inkheart and Spike in Flushed Away.

Biography

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Snoke's hologram.

After the escape of Poe Dameron with help of the deserting stormtrooper Finn, Hux and Kylo Ren are called before Snoke. Snoke, appearing as a large hologram, tells them that if the droid BB-8, whom Dameron gave the map leading to Luke Skywalker, brings the map to the Resistance, a new Jedi Order will rise.

Hux claims full responsibility for the failure and tells Snoke that Starkiller Base is ready to be used against the New Republic. Snoke orders Hux to oversee the preparations and dismisses him. After the general has left, Snoke exclaims that there has been an awakening and asks Ren whether he felt it too, and his apprentice replies that he did.

He then tells Ren that the droid they are searching is in the hands of Ren's father, Han Solo. Ren tells Snoke that Han means nothing to him but Snoke responds that despite his training, Ren has never faced such a task before. His hologram then fades away, leaving Ren alone in the room.

After Ren has captured Rey, but is unable to read her mind, as she herself is strong with the Force, he reports to Snoke who can not believe that the scavenger girl bested his apprentice. When Snoke asks of news of the droid, Hux tells him that because he had the girl in his hands, Kylo deemed the droid irrelevant and stopped the search for him.

To prevent the Resistance from finding Luke Skywalker, Snoke orders Hux to prepare the Starkiller weapon to destroy the home planet of the Resistance. Snoke then orders Ren to bring Rey to him, but she has already escaped her prison cell.

After Han Solo calls out to Kylo Ren (by his name Ben) to come home and abandon Snoke, his son asserts that his master is wise while Han claims that Snoke doesn't care about him and will crush Ben once he gets what he wants. Despite this, Han's lecture to him about Snoke was not enough save him from being executed by his conflicted son anyways.

When it becomes imminent that Starkiller Base has reached a critical condition and will be destroyed under the attack of the Resistance, Snoke calls General Hux to him and orders him to leave the base as well as to bring Kylo Ren to him, promising he will complete Ren's training.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Following the destruction of Starkiller Base, Snoke starts to sense that Kylo is growing weaker ever since he killed Han. After ordering him to take his mask off to view the scars he got from his battle with Rey, he berates him for being defeated by a girl that never had used a lightsaber before and also for feeling remorse about Han Solo's death. He then proceeds to compare Kylo unfavorably to Vader by calling him an immature child hiding behind a mask, a statement that left Kylo very upset. Despite the setbacks, Snoke becomes delighted to hear that Hux found a way to constantly track down the Resistance fleet and deduce their current location through hyperspace, so he orders both Kylo and Hux to lead a series of assaults on the Resistance fleet.

Snoke also learned that Kylo and Rey have a certain connection to each other within the Force as they can communicate through their minds. Deciding to exploit this, Snoke manipulated both Kylo and Rey into communicating more with each other in the Force, which eventually resulted in Rey going to meet Kylo Ren on the Supremacy in an attempt to bring him back to the light side.

Being brought over to the throne room occupied by Snoke and his Elite Praetorian Guards, Rey is horrified to learn that Snoke was manipulating her and Kylo's connection. He also claims to have created their bond, which is later proven to be a lie. All this horrifies Rey but also infuriates Kylo Ren that had started to develop feelings for Rey through their interactions during the connections. Snoke then reveals he plans to use his Force skills to torture her into giving out the location of Luke so that he can destroy the Jedi legacy and cement the First Order's reign across the galaxy. After Snoke tortures Rey, he sadistically orders Kylo Ren to finish her off, gloating of his ability to read Kylo's mind and calls Rey a 'pathetic child' for thinking she can still turn him.

However, Snoke failed to sense the disgust and disbelief that his apprentice started to feel for him since Han Solo's death. This in addition to Ren's growing feelings for Rey, made him decide to defy his master order. Thus, unbeknownst to Snoke, Ren manipulated Anakin's lightsaber (which had been sitting next to Snoke on the armchair of his throne) with telekinesis to face him. Managing to trick his master into thinking he would kill Rey, Ren then ignited the Skywalker lightsaber with the Force into Snoke's side. The Supreme Leader could only make a face of pain and utter shock before being bisected and killed as Kylo Ren called the lightsaber forward with telekinesis. After Rey and Ren finished off Snoke's guards, Kylo asks Rey to join him and rule the galaxy together, but she refuses and escapes. Kylo then takes over Snoke's mantle as the new Supreme Leader, later framing an escaping Rey for the murder and Force-choking an arriving Hux into compliance for the new chain of command.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

My boy... I made Snoke. I have been every voice... (Snoke's voice) you have ever heard... (Darth Vader's voice) inside your head.
~ Darth Sidious, revealing the origins of Supreme Leader Snoke to Kylo Ren.

After Kylo Ren locates Emperor Palpatine on the planet Exegol, Sidious reveals that he created Snoke and used him as his puppet in order to rule the First Order and lure Ben Solo to the dark side of the Force. Kylo sees a tank containing several Snoke clones, but as Snoke has fulfilled his purpose, Sidious thus has no further use of him and the two cloned bodies remain on the tanks. It's completely unknown what has become of the cloned bodies of Snoke following Sidious' final death and the defeat of the Sith Eternal, but it can be implied that they were left behind on Exegol, destroyed or were confiscated by the Resistance to avoid any kind of return.

Appearance

Supreme Leader Snoke in his luxurious golden robe.

Snoke appears as a very gaunt and frail being of unknown species with large hands. His hologram used on Starkiller Base projected him several times larger (around 25–30 feet) than his natural appearance. However, he still towers over Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux, making his true height 7–8 feet, as Andy Serkis said. Although his age is unknown, he is said to be very old, however, it is later revealed that he was actually created sometime after the fall of the Galactic Empire, making him 30 years old at most.

Snoke has an elongated face with pale, scarred skin and light blue eyes, though they can easily be mistaken for dark black eyes in Snoke's hologram. He sports a large scar from the top of his head, all the way down to his brow. Snoke also has a scar or burn on his right cheek and a malformed zygoma on his left cheek, causing his face to become contorted. It is at present unknown how he gained these scars however his strong connection to the dark side of the Force might have played a role in his appearance. It is also possible the scars may have been incurred as a result of an assassination attempt (as speculated by his voice actor, Andy Serkis). Snoke wore a simple cloak similar to those worn by Sith Lords in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he wears a golden robe and slippers prioritized for comfort, as his stance is painful. Snoke tends to speak slowly and enunciate his desires with a forceful undertone.

Personality

No; it was Snoke. He seduced our son to the dark side.
~ Leia Organa to Han Solo about their son's turning to the dark side by Snoke.
And now…you will give me Skywalker... then I will kill you with the cruelest stroke.
~ Snoke to Rey before torturing her.

Snoke is an extremely powerful, evil-minded, deceitful and, according to Kylo Ren, "wise" individual. He is also very sly and manipulative, as he exploited Force-sensitive individuals, such as Ben Solo, only for their power, and managed to command over the entire remnants of the fallen Empire.

Snoke displays tendencies unusual for practitioners of the dark side of the Force; he is somewhat more emotional and melodramatic. His anger and frustration were on clear display after learning of failures from General Hux and Kylo Ren. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it is shown that he often uses his Force powers on them both to express his displeasure at their failures. In the comic Age of Resistance: Supreme Leader Snoke, he is also seen physically hitting Kylo upon being displeased for his apprentice's insistence on bringing his mask to the Cave of Evil. He utilizes the talents of both Hux and Kylo to his favor, planning to discard them in case they become no longer useful to his goals.

His reason for choosing Ben Solo as his apprentice (as explained in the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is that as Anakin Skywalker's grandson, he is a focal point in the Force; a perfect balance of light and dark, thus rather easy to turn to the dark side - which he successfully did.

Because he fears the resurgence of the Jedi, Snoke both fears and hates Luke Skywalker. However, in the film's novelization, Snoke is shown to believe that Darth Vader's loving and compassionate nature for his son, Luke, was the reason for the fall of the Galactic Empire. He also passed on that belief to Kylo during his apprenticeship.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Snoke seems to hold doubts about Kylo Ren ever becoming the new Vader, believing that with the death of his father, Han Solo, his apprentice became even weaker and conflicted. He even taunted Ren of his unwillingness to kill Rey to succumb himself further and the remorse his apprentice was feeling because of Han, calling him a pathetic and foolish child. Eventually, this horrible treatment led to Snoke's downfall as it provoked an angry Kylo to kill Snoke by cutting him in half from the waist with the Skywalker lightsaber.

Snoke proves to be utterly sadistic, cruel and incredibly evil. According to Andy Serkis, Snoke is shown to be much darker than Sidious, holding intense hatred inside his twisted body.[1] Snoke also exhibited extreme psychopathic traits: a complete lack of conscience, a lack of empathy and remorse, extreme arrogance, narcissism and a lack of fear. Snoke was also a highly cold-hearted individual and he is completely willing to let his own soldiers, as well as millions of others die. He was also incredibly manipulative, easily seducing Ben Solo to the dark side and turning him into Kylo Ren.

But, despite being Sidious' creation, Snoke also has shown differences from him. In contrast to Palpatine, he is calm, collected, and wise. While he heads the First Order, he considers his disciple Kylo Ren to be the "ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability," and although he despises and considers the light side to be weaker, he supports his apprentice in utilizing learnings of both the light and dark sides, rather than abandoning one for the other altogether. Snoke also can be at times much more subtle and sarcastic than his creator, when he sees that Rey would never give in to despair seeing that the Resistance is about to be defeated, he "praised" her by calling Rey a "fiery spit of hope" before telling that her defiance would be the cause of her death, instead of outrightly insulting and taunting her like the Dark Lord did to Luke when he refused the dark side.

But just like Sidious, he is unwilling to dispose of his most valuable minions (Kylo and Hux) easily, as when Starkiller Base is about to explode he makes sure that Hux leaves the collapsing base bringing Kylo Ren with him, similar as when Sidious went to save a gravely wounded Anakin on Mustafar. Also similar to his creator, Snoke had shown an extreme level of arrogance and was pompous until the end, even though he claimed he could sense Kylo's every move and thoughts, he underestimated his apprentice, and his arrogance was his downfall.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • The Force: Snoke is extremely powerful, and has an extremely strong connection to the Force.
    • Telepathy: Snoke has the power of telepathy, which he used to sense Kylo's emotions and intentions, though he was only able to sense that Kylo was about to kill "his true enemy", but assumed that it was Rey and not himself. His abilities also allowed him to manipulate and enhance the bond between his apprentice and Rey, a bond that allows them to see, communicate and physically interact despite being physically separated, though neither of them are able to control when these connections happen.
      • Mind Probe: Snoke possesses skill with the mind prove that is naturally superior to that of his apprentice, as he easily pried into the mind of Rey to discover Luke's location, which caused her extreme agony.
    • Telekinesis: Snoke possesses an affinity for Telekinesis as well as being able to use Force chokes and throws. He is able to immobilize and restrain his targets effortlessly, which allowed him to manipulate their movements. As demonstrated on both Rey and Hux, Snoke makes his targets glide along the floor or fly through the air while barely concentrating or exerting visible effort. His power in this regard is so strong that he doesn't even have to be in close proximity to his intended target, as he was capable of using his powers on General Hux even though they were not even in the same solar system (as Snoke's ship had not entered the same system yet at that point).
    • Force Lightning: Snoke is able to use Force lightning, notably projecting a blast against the floor, causing it to rebound and hit Kylo, knocking his apprentice off his feet.

Abilities

Genius-Level Intellect

Snoke has a genius-level intellect. He is described as being highly intelligent and wise. As the leader of the First Order, Snoke is a highly skilled tactician and a capable leader. Despite being created and manipulated by Palpatine, Snoke is unaware of his creator and has his own goals to achieve. His intelligence was the main reason to his rise to power, as he was able to undermine other leading members of the First Order until becoming the Supreme Leader. He also is smart to keep around those he needs to work for him, as General Hux and Kylo Ren, and is especially able to recognize their weaknesses to be able to exploit them to his own benefit. In addition to this, despite not being as powerful in the Force as his creator, Snoke was able to overpower Kylo and Rey, both of whom are described as having raw strength in the Force, due to having much more knowledge and experience than the two of them.

Snoke is also a master manipulator. Snoke's skill in manipulation is so strong that Snoke even managed to deceive Ben Solo since he was only a 10-year-old boy at Luke's Jedi academy. He presented himself as a "friend" to him, communicating with him through the Force while Ben was isolated from other students of the academy. In the following 14 years, he then slowly created doubts in Ben's mind about the Jedi Order and his family. Eventually, at the night Ben felt betrayed by his uncle, Snoke had already won completely Ben's trust, which resulted in Ben becoming his apprentice and later naming himself Kylo Ren.

He also manipulated Rey and Kylo's Force-bond in order to lead Rey into a trap. As he noticed his apprentice's vulnerability after killing Han Solo, he is disappointed but soon plans on how to exploit it. He provokes and humiliates Kylo and then leaves him exposed to Rey, wanting her to become sympathetic towards him and decide to redeem Ben Solo. This plan works exactly as Snoke predicts, with Rey coming alone to the Supremacy to encounter Kylo Ren, but ends up being taken captive and brought before him. Because of his skill using the mind probe, he also easily succeeds in getting the information he wants from Rey's mind. Despite this, his miscalculation is that, similar to his creator, he trusts too much in his own visions to think that maybe they could be wrong. Like Palpatine, he also seems unable to understand love, seeing attachment as weakness, and being unable recognize it and/or predict how it might affect the decisions of a person. So, when Kylo chooses to save Rey instead of obeying his master, his arrogance blinds him and he is not able to perceive that his apprentice is hiding his true feelings and intentions.

Quotes

The droid will soon be delivered to the Resistance, leading them to the last Jedi. If Skywalker returns… the new Jedi will rise.
~ Snoke on the droid and Luke Skywalker to Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux.
There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? There is something more. The droid we seek is aboard the Millenium Falcon in the hands of your father, Han Solo. […] Even you, Master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a task.
~ Snoke to Kylo Ren.
Leave the base at once and come to me with Kylo Ren. It is time to complete his training.
~ Snoke orders Hux to bring him Kylo Ren.
You wonder why I keep a rabid cur in such a place of power? A cur's weakness, properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool.
~ Snoke to Kylo Ren about Hux.
Yes, there it is. You have too much of your father's heart in you, young Solo. (Kylo Ren: I killed Han Solo. When the moment came, I didn't hesitate.) And look at you, the deed split your spirit to the bone. You were unbalanced, bested by a girl that never held a lightsaber! YOU FAILED!
~ Snoke to Kylo Ren about him feeling remorse for killing his own father and about his failures.
Skywalker lives! The seed of the Jedi Order lives. And as long as it does, hope lives in the galaxy.
~ Snoke to Kylo Ren about Luke Skywalker.
Alas, you're no Vader. You're just a child… in a mask.
~ Snoke to Kylo Ren.
Darkness rises... and light to meet it.
~ Snoke about Rey and Kylo Ren.
My worthy apprentice, son of darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader… where there was conflict, I now sense resolve! Where there was weakness, strength! Complete your training, and FULFILL… YOUR… DESTINY!
~ Snoke orders Kylo to kill Rey.

Trivia

  • Snoke was initially considered the Bigger Bad of the Star Wars sequel trilogy as he is mainly responsible for corrupting and teaching Kylo Ren, who is the Big Bad, the ways of the dark side of the Force. During the first half of the sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Snoke appeared to be the primary antagonist, but this role is taken over by Ren after he kills Snoke and takes his place as Supreme Leader. However, it was revealed in The Rise of Skywalker that Snoke was basically an artificial being created by Palpatine to control the First Order as a figurehead, thus Palpatine is the one responsible for corrupting Kylo Ren.
  • In The Rise of Skywalker, there are two bodies of Snoke not finished in a tank, as Palpatine estimated that he had no need anymore of him.
  • His appearance was created using motion capture (CGI).
  • His name was officially unveiled on May 28, 2015. It is derived from the word Snoek, a type of fish.
  • His being taken by surprise and sliced in half by a Force user wielding a lightsaber not their own is strikingly similar to what happened to Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace where a Force user (Obi-Wan), cut him in half using a lightsaber not his own (Qui-Gon's). The difference, of course, is that Maul survived.
  • There had been theories that Snoke was Darth Plagueis, Palpatine's former master, but those theories were wrong. Ironically, Snoke's betrayal at the hands of Kylo Ren is exactly like Plagueis' betrayal at the hands of Darth Sidious.
    • Other popular theories were that Snoke was Boba Fett, Jar Jar Binks, Mace Windu, Ezra Bridger, Gallius Rax, a resurrected Darth Vader or even a future Kylo Ren, but those theories were likewise wrong.
  • He is played by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in the Lord of The Rings films. Andy Serkis is the second major Lord of The Rings actor to play a Star Wars villain after the late Christopher Lee who played Count Dooku in the prequel trilogy, and Saruman in the Lord of The Rings films.
  • Snoke wearing a robe and slippers is considered proof of his arrogance, as he considers himself untouchable thanks to his vast dark side powers and his elite Praetorian Guard, only for Kylo Ren to prove him wrong with his betrayal.
  • Andy Serkis has confirmed that Snoke's horribly deformed face was inspired partially by injuries of World War I veterans who came back badly scarred or deformed.
  • In some ways, Snoke can be considered like a foil towards Leia Organa: they are leaders of a military faction (the First Order and the Resistance), operate more from behind the scenes, are strong in the Force, desperately search for Luke Skywalker and both have faith on Kylo Ren. However, whereas Leia was right that her son would not kill her, Snoke naively thought Ren would never betray him and got killed as a result.
  • Snoke was originally planned to be female during the development of The Force Awakens, before the character was finalized as male once his official design was done.
  • Snoke's death in The Last Jedi received the most poor reviews for a Star Wars villain or character, with many claiming that with the massive marketing which Disney published, and, with Snoke's appearance in The Force Awakens to be mysterious, many expected The Last Jedi to explore Snoke's origins until he was killed by Kylo Ren, a decision which was written and made by director Rian Johnson.
    • However, given the revelation in The Rise of Skywalker in which Snoke was revealed to have been an artificial sentinel being and a puppet of Emperor Palpatine the whole time, this criticism has considerably changed, as this seems to imply that Snoke was never an original character but a disguised Palpatine, thus an extension of the latter character.
    • According to Rian Johnson, Snoke's death was a way to make Kylo Ren assume a bigger role and be independent from a master. However, this was partly dropped with the return of Palpatine in the The Rise of Skywalker. Although he did not serve Sidious as he did to Snoke (because he had different plans in mind as he wanted the Throne of the Sith for himself and Rey), Kylo was used and manipulated by Palpatine not only throughout the film but his whole life (since Palpatine is Snoke's creator, and Palpatine himself also whispered voices to further corrupt Ben Solo's mind), which turned him into the pawn of a villain again.
  • While not confirmed if intentional or not, the revelation in The Rise of Skywalker that Snoke was actually a puppet ruler who had been controlled by Emperor Palpatine the whole time may have been inspired by that of Shimrra Jamaane in The New Jedi Order book series (which belongs to the Star Wars Legends continuity). Much like Snoke, Jamaane was introduced as the supposed main antagonist until Onimi was revealed to be secretly controlling him.
  • The revelation that Snoke was a puppet of Palpatine's in The Rise of Skywalker is presumably contradicted by the The Force Awakens novelization and other works in Disney's Canon, which all states that Snoke witnessed the rise of the Galactic Empire from the shadows and that Palpatine did not know of his existence until the Battle of Endor. As a result, if this were so, several retcons would have to be made in the future to create a specific explanation about Snoke.
  • Despite being one of the main villains of the sequel trilogy, Supreme Leader Snoke never interacted with Finn and Poe Dameron. The only protagonist who interacted with him was Rey, yet Snoke's actions would have ended with the deaths of Finn and Dameron hadn't Kylo Ren stopped him.
  • Snoke is one of the villains who interacted with Rey, alongside Kylo Ren and Emperor Palpatine.

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Benefactor: Emperor Sheev Palpatine
Leaders: Supreme Leader Snoke | Supreme Leader Kylo Ren | Allegiant General Enric Pryde
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